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Barry Leith (born 1943)

Barry Edward Leith (born 1943)

The distinguished puppet animator, Barry Leith, not only helped create the animated television series, The Wombles, but illustrated editions of the books on which it was based.

Barry Leith studied graphic design at Hornsey College of Art, and then took a post-graduate course in film and photography. He soon moved into animation, and worked for a while with the French animator, Jacques Forgeot. He then joined FilmFair and, becoming a director of animation, contributed to some classic children’s animated television series.

In 1973, the BBC commissioned FilmFair to produce a series of 30 five-minute films based on Elizabeth Beresford’s
The Wombles. In addition to his role as cinematographer, Barry Leith designed the sets and collaborated with the director, Ivor Wood, on the development of the puppets. They so changed the initial look of the Wombles, as established by their original illustrator, Margaret Gordon, that, in 1975, Leith produced a new set of illustrations for the reissue of Beresford’s first book (as shown here) and the publication of its sequels.

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